I’ve had several otherwise perfect vacations ruined by picking the wrong hotel. Whether I’m planning a business trip in Boston or looking for a romantic hotel in Miami, I’ve found that taking the time to find the perfect hotel is worth the investment. All hotels are not created equal. Some are absolutely better than others and the right one for me is always found by investing a few minutes into a moderately intensive web search.
3 ways the right hotel has made my mediocre vacation into a great vacation:
Find amenities I want
Depending on the nature of my trip I may want to plan for certain features to be available. Of course, on some trips it may be fine to stay in a hotel with no restaurant, but maybe this time I want to plan to stay somewhere with gourmet restaurant menu items and an expansive selection of personally curated wines procured by a world-travelled beverage director that can be brought to me by room service. Maybe I want a hotel with a racquetball court, or a shuttle to nearby attractions, or an in-house masseuse or spa. I might need something complex like onsite childcare or something simple like conjoined rooms, late checkout, or a balcony. Whatever it is that I need can be found without much trouble.
Avoid features I don’t want
I may want to avoid certain features from my hotel stay entirely. Maybe I want to stay in a place that separates families with small kids to one area of the hotel. Maybe I want to stay in a 100% smoke-free property. Maybe I want to make sure the hotel I am staying in has designated smoking areas. It’s easy to avoid features that drive me crazy. All it takes is a web search (and maybe a phone call if that doesn’t work).
In the location I want
There is nothing worse than checking into the hotel I booked and then realizing it’s a little further than I thought from the things I want to see. Many hotels advertise themselves as being in a particular area when they are really near that area. Even if I’m in the area I want to be in, being located near a freeway, airport, or train track can ruin every night of an otherwise perfect vacation. Staying near the beach can be lovely during the right seasons, and bitterly cold during the wrong seasons. Making sure the hotel I get is exactly where I want to be before I get there is a routine travel habit now.
It doesn’t take much to double check these specific features. Follow up your fact finding with a phone call or an email for really special (and expensive) occasions. By going the extra mile, you may find a few perks you didn’t even think about beforehand.